When you first start out in business, you tend to chase money. We did.
As photographers and first time business owners, we found ourselves saying YES to everybody that called in. Can you do portraits? Yes. Can you do weddings? Yes. Can you do a model portfolio? Yes. Can you take photographs of my jewelry for a product catalog? Yes.
If you don’t know much about photography, that may sound okay. After all, a photographer takes pictures – how different can it be from one subject matter to the next? Actually, there is a world of difference. Portraits are usually in a controlled environment at a controlled time of the day. If something goes wrong, you can always repeat it.
Weddings are chaos at its finest. You have to deal with hundreds of situations, all while dealing with highly stressed and emotional people.
Jewelry is entirely different. You need special lenses to bring out the intensity and beauty of the stones and metals.
And by saying YES to everything, you are ultimately setting yourself up for failure. Because there is no way to become GREAT at everything. (It is possible to move from field to field, say over a 25 year period. But as a start up, there is no way to be GREAT at everything.)
What changed our business around was specializing in one thing and only putting our concentration and focus in that one area. We loved the extremities of weddings – and that’s where we decided to make our mark.
The more we focused on it, the better we became. We studied the best wedding photographers and learned everything we could. We gave every wedding client 110 percent. We focused in on networking with wedding vendors. We wrote articles for wedding magazines.
We became the experts.
Why You Should Become An Expert Too
With everything we do, with everything we buy, we don’t want a “jack of all trades”. We want someone who knows exactly what they are doing, has the proven solution to our problems, won’t waste our money or our time, and will give us exactly what we want … and more.
If we want that, then to turn it around, that’s what we should offer as well. Lets look further into the details.
1. Stand Out From The Crowd
You don’t have to attract the attention of everyone; just enough people to keep you in business with a healthy bottom line. Therefore if you don’t have to make everyone happy, focus in on the one’s that will make you happiest. Focus in on the one’s that you truly want to work with, and that truly want to work with you. Become a shining star, and you’ll soar above the others in your marketplace. You’ll stand out because you are different – you only want to attract the people you truly want to do business with. Its okay to be different. Different is what gets people talking. And it makes people want to stick with you … and walk away from the others in your marketplace.
2. Become The Prize
In every industry, there is one person that shines above the rest. If you head into self-help, Tony Robbins name pops up again and again. Wouldn’t it be great to receive one-on-one help from Tony? Or Oprah in the women’s marketplace; who hasn’t said they would love to be on her show, or appear in her magazine, or be one of her recognized advisers? The reason they are at the top of their fields is because they zeroed in on what they wanted and didn’t stop until they achieved it. Expertise gives you prestige and popularity. You become the prize; a rare thing that people would do anything to have a piece of. They want to own your artwork, be coached by your knowledge, purchase your invention. You don’t chase leads; they clamor to work with you.
3. Gain Media Attention
Have you ever looked through a magazine or watched a television show and thought “that could be me”. You’re right. It could be you; once you prove your expertise. Anyone in media looks for experts to fill their columns or shows with quality information they know their readers will love. They turn to experts to give their stories more credibility. And once a media source knows you and trusts you, they can rely on you again and again. They relied on us in the wedding industry – we had many reporters call us monthly to ask for quotes and information, including photographs. They trusted us, so they “used” us. You can follow the same path. You can become the recognized expert in your chosen field – one that will be respected and will give you the results you need to continue growing.
4. Charge Higher Fees
Who has a healthier bottom line, a jack-of-all-trades or a specialist?
Who would you pay more for:
- A handyman or a kitchen renovation expert?
- A general practitioner or a heart surgeon?
- A seamstress or a gown designer?
The more you know, the more people are willing to pay for what you do and have to offer.
5. Gain Partnerships
Whenever you find an expert, chances are you see them in more than one capacity. You don’t find them by chance; everyone is talking about them. People invite you to speak to their audience, or market with them in a new venture they are starting. They ask you to be a part of their “ideas” because they understand you’ll make them look better. You’ll add to their own credibility. You’ll help them shine.
Have you ever had buyers remorse? It’s usually because you start questioning the connection. What will people think of you now that you have this in your possession? Did you choose wisely? The more expertise you have, the more your reputation stands out, the easier it is to create satisfaction amongst your clientele. They don’t have to wonder whether they have the best; they know they do.
7. Develop Your Own Following
Have you ever noticed that true experts usually have very strong organizations around them? They may hold yearly expos, large events, or conferences people are fighting to get in. This adds another realm to your dimension. It turns you into a superstar not only to your clients, but to people in your industry as well. It gives you a full 360 view to every aspect of who you are.